by Anne Ellis, Director of Psychology
I’ve recently read Rohit Bhargava’s book “Personality Not Included”. I got interested in it because of the title: as someone whose life and work revolves around personality profiling this was a title that intrigued.
The gist of the book’s message is that organisations can present as soulless unless they find their identity or personality, which can be invested in their marketing. The goal is to be Unique, Authentic and Talkable. Many instances are offered where people made this the reality in a whole host of different organisations.
Where the book really started to engage with personality for me was in the Backstory session as here he identifies Backstory types – and these seem to me to equate roughly with the four largest quadrants of the PeopleMaps Map. This theme was picked up again when describing the techniques and I have tried to equate real personality recognisable types to Bhargava’s types.
He identifies the passionate enthusiast as “A driven individual takes a personal passion and builds it into a successful business”. This would equate to the type of personality who emanates from the North Eastern segment of a PeopleMap. A passionate individual who is focused on bottom line results and is single minded in their task. This person will be extraverted in the sense that their focus will be external. They will discuss their ideas with others, in reality they will be thinking out loud. They are also task driven and thinking about the task is what motivates them. Within this segment of the map there is a great variety of different types however they will share this type of behaviour in greater or lesser degree depending upon their actual positioning.
He then goes on to talk about the inspired inventor describing them as “A tireless inventor creates something new and different by not giving up on his/her vision. This would equate to the type of personality who emanates from the South Eastern segment of a PeopleMap. An enthusiastic creative type with a great many ideas. Someone who inspires others and manages to gain ‘buy-in’ for a variety of ideas. This person will be extraverted in the gregarious manner and thrives on sharing their many ideas with others. They are feeling types who seek the approval of colleagues and others especially positive feedback that can encourage them to offer even more ideas. They also share their segment of the map with others who have similar characteristics and differ only in the degree to which they possess them.
The third type Bhargava identifies is the smart listener. He outlines their value to the organisation as “A new company is created as a result of listening to customers, partners, or others.” This would equate to the type of personality who emanates from the North Western segment of a PeopleMap. A cautious, analytical person who wants to listen to all the ideas, thoughts suggestions of colleagues before reaching a conclusion. This person will be introverted in that they do all their processing internally. They are also thinking types and share these characteristics with others in this segment to a greater or lesser degree.
The fourth type he describes as the likeable hero and has this to say about them ” A dedicated individual overcomes all odds to make his/her idea work”. This would equate to the type of person who emanates from the South Western segment of the map. A calm, unruffled type who will be self contained in their introversion yet have strong feelings for others and involve them willingly in their thoughts and actions. They will share these characteristics with all others who emanate from this segment of the map to a greater or lesser degree.
Bhargava goes onto discuss how all these people would go about setting up a business which in itself in interesting, however there are many organisations made up of all these types and if they were to pull their talents together many an organisation could benefit enormously from this powerful mix.
The comparisons to identified types also works when Bhargava describes the techniques to use in his book. Staying with the four segments of the map, although the map divides into a great many more fragmentations than this, but for simplicity this is the easiest way to proceed. He describes nine techniques, however I equate four of these with the PeopleMaps map and these are:-
Curiosity Marketing he describes as “Engaging customers by inspiring their curiosity”. This is what piques the interest of someone who emanates from the North Western segment of the map. They are insatiably curious and want to know what and how and why something works or does not and they would see this as a great motivator for others to become involved. They always want to find out things for themselves and making others look would be important to them. They would succeed in their efforts more especially with those who are like them and share their segment of the map as this type of behaviour would be what engages their interest.
Karmic Marketing he describes as “Doing something good without any expectation of reward”. This would be the tactics of someone who emanated from the South Western segment of the map as they want others to benefit from their enterprises. They like to share especially goodwill and will do what it takes to make this the reality. They particularly enjoy one to one participation and sharing personal recommendations, or doing something kind for others appeals to them. This would also appeal to all those customers who come from this segment of the map and is where they are most likely to succeed.
Participation Marketing he outlines as “Participating in a dialogue without needing to lead it”. This would appeal to someone who emanates from the South Eastern segment of the map as they love to talk and discuss especially their own ideas although they are interested in the ideas of others too. What they really relish is being part of something and being able to influence a decision. They thrive on the engagement and conversation involved. This would appeal to all those who share their characteristics i.e. those from the south eastern side of the map.
Useful Marketing this he describes as “Creating content that has value and using it for marketing”. This would be the style of those who emanate from the North Eastern segment of the map. The practicality of this approach is what would motivate them. They want to offer something that would achieve results in the shortest possible time. They go through life without frills or fuss and have a no nonsense approach to things that matter. They love being involved in the decision making process and demonstrate thinking rather than features. This would also be the appeal for all those who share their segment of the map.
In the different categories of marketing discussed above I have tried to equate the positions of different personalities found on the PeopleMaps map to each technique, because it is common sense that if people could be approached in a manner that meets their needs they would be more likely to participate in whatever was being asked of them.
Personality not Included is a great read for anyone interested in personality, marketing and business. Visit the Personality Not Included website for lots more, including the Making of PNI and a Reader’s Community.
You may also enjoy reading about how we made a Personality Test that is easy to use.